Financial success conceptEU looks to tighten refractory ceramic fiber regulations

In June, the European Chemicals Agency recommended that both alumina-silica and zirconia-alumina-silica refractory ceramic fibers be included under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals regulations. If confirmed by the European Commission later this year, future use of RCF in Europe will be subject to REACH authorization. According to Morgan Advanced Materials’ Thermal Ceramics business, the change is subject to a public comment period and discussion before the commission’s decision. The company says it “is committed to maintain close contact with its customers for RCF products during this period and will provide advice on progress with the authorization process or the use of alternatives, as required.”

Report covers bio-inspired and nanoengineered surfaces

( A new market report from BCC Research LLC, Wellesley, Mass., provides a technology overview, patent analysis, and industry-specific application overview for bio-inspired materials. Over the past decade, bio-inspired structures have been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny, leading to the prospect of artificial nanoengineered materials for multiple commercial applications. Commercially existent self-cleaning glass products, which rely on superhydrophilic/photocatalytic coatings, are one technology already generating significant revenues. The report also covers the current state of biomedical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, optics, and other applications, and provides a look at potential applications in each area over the next decade.

Ceramic nanofiber materials available

MemPro Ceramics (Broomfield, Colo.) reports it has developed a proprietary process to make inorganic nanofiber materials including commonly used ceramics. The company currently is producing alumina, ceria-zirconia mixed metal oxide, indium tin oxide, silica, titania, and zinc oxide nanofibers, and says it will add other materials as processes for their production become repeatable. Memo says it has worked with customers to develop nanofiber applications in many markets, including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, catalyst, chemical production, defense, electronics, energy, and pharmaceuticals, among others.


 Report: Proppant market annual growth at 10.8 percent through 2017

A report, “Proppant Market – By Type (Fracturing Sand, Resin Coated and Ceramic Proppant) – Global Trends & Forecasts to 2017” defines and segments the global proppant market with analysis and forecasting of global volume (in million tons) and revenues. Proppants are vital to the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology being used to recover natural gas reserves locked in shale formations in the US and other areas of the world. According to publisher Markets and Markets, Dallas, Tex., engineered ceramic proppants make up a significant portion of the market, which is expected to increase from an estimated $3.8 billion in 2008 to nearly $7 billion by 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10.7 percent from 2012 to 2017. Domestic US proppants suppliers covered include Carbo Ceramics, Saint Gobain, Momentive, and Badger Mining Corp.

NHBB acquires European ceramic bearing specialist

New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc. (Chatsworth, Calif.) announced it has acquired all shares of Cerobear GmbH, a Herzogenrath, Germany, manufacturer of innovative bearings featuring technologically advanced ceramics. This strategic acquisition provides significant competitive advantages to both companies. Cerobear gains access to the global manufacturing and marketing capabilities of NHBB and its parent company Minebea; NHBB is now positioned to facilitate adoption of ceramic bearing technology in a wider range of aerospace applications. Ceramic and hybrid ceramic bearing technology is gaining wider acceptance with aircraft and engine manufacturers as they continue their search for innovative materials and solutions that reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.


PPG Argentina consolidates operations at Pilar manufacturing complex

PPG Industries in Argentina consolidated its operations at its coatings manufacturing complex in Pilar. In addition to being PPG’s manufacturing hub in Argentina, the  facility now serves as the company’s headquarters in the country. More than 50 business office, information technology, human resources, and other support-team members have moved to remodeled office space at the Pilar site from a rented building in St. Martin, about 25 miles west. The staff had been in St. Martin since shortly after PPG’s acquisition of ICI plc’s South America coatings business in 1999.